Victor Carabello, MD
Nephrologist & Internal Medicine located in East Los Angeles, CA
Dialysis is a treatment that replaces lost kidney function. Each year in the United States, over half a million people receive ongoing dialysis to address kidney failure, or end-stage kidney disease (ESKD). At Carabello Kidney in East Los Angeles, California, dual board-certified nephrologist and internist Victor Carabello, MD, offers two types of at-home dialysis: peritoneal dialysis and conventional hemodialysis. To learn more, call the office or book an appointment online today.
What is dialysis?
Healthy kidneys perform the vital task of cleaning your blood and removing waste and excess fluids from your body through urine. When your kidneys fail to work properly, your very survival depends on receiving a treatment that replaces their function.
Dialysis counteracts kidney failure by doing the essential job your kidneys can no longer do: removing waste products and excess fluid from your blood on a regular basis.
How does dialysis work?
There are two main types of dialysis. While both types accomplish the same objective, they do so in very different ways:
This conventional form of dialysis uses a specialized machine to filter and clean your blood. During the procedure, a tube is attached to a needle or access point in your arm. Your unfiltered blood is drawn through the tube and cleaned inside the machine before it travels back into your arm through another tube.
This form of dialysis uses the inside lining of your abdomen (peritoneum) as a blood-cleaning filter, rather than an external machine. Like your kidneys, the peritoneum contains thousands of tiny blood vessels that make useful filters.
Peritoneal dialysis is done through a permanent catheter that’s surgically placed in your abdomen (peritoneal cavity). During the treatment, fluid is pumped into your peritoneal cavity through the catheter.
As blood passes through the peritoneum blood vessels, waste products and excess fluid are drawn out and transferred to the dialysis fluid. After a few hours, the waste fluid is drained into a bag and replaced with fresh dialysis fluid.
Which type of dialysis is right for me?
In many cases, people can choose the type of dialysis they want — and where they want to have it. Dr. Carabello can outline the benefits and drawbacks of each option so you can make an informed decision when choosing what’s best for you.
For example, if you choose to have hemodialysis in a dialysis center, you may experience longer sessions with a few treatment-free days in between. If you choose at-home hemodialysis, you can expect more frequent sessions and more flexible scheduling options.
As the gentlest form of dialysis, peritoneal dialysis is a daily treatment that’s easy to do at home. You can change the fluid yourself throughout the day, or you can have a machine do it overnight while you sleep.
To learn more about dialysis at Carabello Kidney, call the office or book an appointment online today.